TrendWatch: Fourth Dimension

February 9, 2009sparxoo_admin

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Reality in hyper-life

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

Definition
Ultimate accessibility and creativity has integrated itself into our daily lives—transforming our expectations of the way we receive and send information and entertainment. The way we function in our jobs, communicate with friends and receive data has dramatically evolved from the ever-changing techno landscape.

Spin
Hyper-Connected—AIM (gchat), e-mail, phone, TV are all incredible. When done simultaneously it’s even more so. That’s the case for the Millennials, who grew up super-multitasking—an artful juggle between work and play, but usually more play than work. Super-multitasking is our way connecting with people and information using a diverse set of media.
Stretching Reality—Mobile phones are more than just phones, of course. They’re equipped with: GPS, Internet accessibility, alarm clock, radio, camera, address book, calendar etc. And gaming is more than just a controller and a gaming system. It is portal into another world where other gamers exist vicariously, living lives of fantasy.
As technology advances, a love/hate relationship is emerging as more users have integrated the phone and its features into everyday life. Additionally, gaming itself has blurred the lines between reality and virtual reality with new technology.

Examples
Wii—With the creation of such interactive games as Wii, users can re-shape the way they traditionally game and work out—virtually redefining “play”.
Everquest PizzaEverquest II blurred the lines between reality and virtual reality by partnering with Pizza Hut. Hungry Everquest gamers have the option to order Pizza Hut pizza within the Everquest virtual world.
iPhone—With the Apps Store available on the iPhone, you really can be in control of what you want and when you want it. The accelerometer makes the iPhone a gaming system similar to the Wii.
Gender-Crossing—Technology has enabled us to bend and morph our most creative selves into alternate beings  (i.e. avatars) and exist in alternate worlds. Interestingly, there is a large male population that create really alternative virtual personalities. Of the growing 13 million Second Life users, approximately half of all males have created female avatars. Gender-crossing has emerged  into quite a problem for some gaming communities. Requiring a webcam image of yourself, Shanda Entertainment online games has made desperate attempts to eliminate gender-bending male avatars from its virtual worlds.

Key Words
Morphing, Technology, Transform, , Multi-tasking, Attention, Integration

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